Archive for July 29th, 2009

Warriors trade Marco Belinelli to Raptors for Devean George

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have acquired guard Marco Belinelli (Mar-co Belle-EE-NELLI) from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for forward Devean George and cash considerations.

“Marco fills a void at the wing position where his shooting and scoring strengths will be needed. Marco’s versatility and playmaking abilities make him a very valuable piece for us,” said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager.

Belinelli, the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 21.0 minutes in 42 games last season with Golden State. He registered four 20-point games during the 2008-09 campaign, including a career-high 27 points December 12, 2008 at Atlanta.

Through 75 career games Belinelli owns a .395 mark from three-point range (68-for-172).  As a rookie he appeared in 33 games, averaging 2.9 points in 7.3 minutes.

Prior to joining the Warriors, the 23 year-old, 6-foot-5 guard from Bologna, Italy, played professionally in Italy for five seasons. In 33 games during the 2006-07 season with Fortitudo Bologna in Serie A, Belinelli averaged 16.4 points, while shooting .544 (99-for-182) from the field. In 13 Euroleague contests, he averaged 12.9 points on .438 (32-for-73) from the field.

A member of the Italian National Team, Belinelli averaged 13.5 points per game during the 2006 FIBA World Championship, including 25 points in a losing effort against Team USA in preliminary round play.

“We’re looking forward to adding a veteran with Devean’s experience to our squad,” said Warriors General Manager Larry Riley.  “He is obviously a proven winner and has been on several very successful teams during his career, which is something we feel is important when you look at the youth on our roster.  He is a versatile player and someone who we feel can contribute both on and off the court.”

George, 31, is a 10-year NBA veteran who has played the last three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks after spending the first seven years of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.  Last season he appeared in 43 games for the Mavs, averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.5 minutes.  Originally drafted with the 23rd overall selection in the 1999 NBA Draft, George owns career averages of 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 585 regular-season contests.  Additionally, the 6-8 guard/forward has appeared in 86 playoff games during his career, which includes four trips to the NBA Finals (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004) while with the Lakers and winning three-straight NBA Championships from 2000-02.

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Memphis Grizzlies sign Marcus Williams

INITIAL JULY 29 NEWS (SEE UPDATE BELOW): The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Marcus Williams, who opened some eyes playing for the Grizzlies’ summer league team in Las Vegas earlier this month, could be joining the team in a more official capacity within the next few days. Calvin Andrews, Williams’ agent, said this afternoon that he feels “confident” that Williams will sign a 1-year deal with the Grizzlies. “We’re very close,” Andrews said. “They like some of the things he can do to help the team, to get the ball in the right places.”

AUGUST 6 UPDATE: GRIZZLIES SIGN MARCUS WILLIAMS

grizzlies sign point guard marcus williams

The Memphis Grizzlies added depth to the team’s backcourt by signing free agent point guard and 2009 NBA Summer League standout Marcus Williams, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

“The addition of Marcus Williams not only adds depth to our point guard position, but also gives the team a very skilled passer,” Wallace said.  “Marcus excels at getting easy baskets for his teammates.  His teammates will enjoy playing with him.”

The three-year NBA veteran averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and a league-leading 8.2 assists (shared with Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings) in helping lead the Grizzlies to a perfect 5-0 record in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month.

The 6-3, 205-pound guard began and finished his summer league in memorable fashion, recording a Vegas-record 17 assists in the opener on July 12 vs. Oklahoma City and then made the game-winning field goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the summer finale on July 19 vs. San Antonio.

The 23-year-old playmaker holds career averages of 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 15.8 minutes in 141 games (nine starts) with the New Jersey Nets (2006-08) and Golden State Warriors (2008-09).  Williams was originally selected by New Jersey with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft and was named to the 2006-07 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after recording 6.8 points and 3.3 assists in 79 games in his rookie season.

Last season, Williams averaged 1.3 points and 1.4 assists in 6.0 minutes in nine games for the Warriors before finishing the year in Puerto Rico, recording 16.8 points and a league-best 9.0 assists in 33.5 minutes in 34 games with the Quebradillas Pirates.

The Los Angeles, Calif. native averaged 9.0 points and a school-record 7.3 assists in 26.1 minutes in 70 games (51 starts) over three seasons (2003-06) at the University of Connecticut, where he teamed with current Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay for two seasons (2004-06).  While at UConn, Williams posted the first-ever triple-double for a Huskies player in conference play with 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds on Feb. 21, 2006 vs. Notre Dame.

Williams also joined Gay as part of the 2005 USA Men’s U21 World Championship Team, where he led the squad in minutes (20.4) and averaged 4.1 points and 4.1 assists in eight games.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 12 players.

In a press conference at the MassMutual Center today, the Springfield Armor named former NBA player Dee Brown as Head Coach and Director of Basketball Operations and Kevin Whitted as Assistant Coach.

Brown, who enjoyed a distinguished 12-year NBA career that included eight seasons with the Boston Celtics, becomes the first head coach in Springfield Armor history. He also becomes the sixth former Celtics player to serve as a head coach in the NBA Development league, joining Dennis Johnson, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Joe Wolf, Sam Vincent and Jay Humphries.

“To have Dee Brown as our first head coach is huge,” Springfield Armor Managing Partner Michael Savit said. “Not only is Dee thought of fondly throughout New England and beyond following his days with the Celtics, he also is a terrific mentor for young players and an all-around great ambassador for the sport. He is a perfect fit for our organization and for a city with such a rich basketball tradition.”

Brown played in 476 games as a member of the Celtics after they selected him 19th overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. Brown played in all 82 regular-season games during a spectacular rookie campaign that earned his selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1990-91. He averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 assists to help the Celtics win the NBA Atlantic Division with a 56-26 record that season. In 11 games during the 1991 playoffs, Brown averaged 12.2 points.

Amid his rookie season, Brown gained national acclaim after emerging the Slam Dunk champion during the 1991 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. The 6-1 Brown bested 6-10 Shawn Kemp in the finals with a unique “no-look” dunk, in which he draped his right arm over his eyes in mid-air and slammed the ball with his left.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to return to Massachusetts, where I have many wonderful memories from my playing career,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with the talented, young players that will wear the Armor uniform and to making this new NBA D-League team in Springfield a winner.”

New Orleans Hornets sign Ike Diogu

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent forward Ike Diogu. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post contract info later today.

“We’re excited to have Ike join our team and expect him to help the frontline off the bench this season,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “He has shown a lot of potential as an inside scorer and as an effective rebounder.”

Diogu (6-9, 250) holds career averages of 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 187 career games with four teams (Golden State, Indiana, Portland and Sacramento).

During the 2008-09 season, he averaged 4.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, playing 29 games for Portland and Sacramento. While with the Kings, Diogu averaged 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes of play over 10 games (one start). He ended the year on a high note, recording a career-high 32 points and 11 rebounds 4/13 at Denver prior to a season-finale performance of 28 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds at Minnesota on 4/15.

Diogu was the 9th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Warriors out of Arizona State University. In three seasons as a Sun Devil, Diogu averaged 21.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 91 career games (all starts). He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a junior and earned Consensus Second Team All-America honors (the only Sun Devil to ever earn that distinction), while averaging 22.6 points and 9.8 rebounds.Read basketball fan discussion and share your own opinion in this forum topic.

Cleveland Cavaliers waive Tarence Kinsey

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived guard Tarence Kinsey, the team announced today.

Kinsey originally signed with the team as a free agent on August 1st, 2008. He played in 50 games (three starts) during the 2008-09 season with averages of 2.0 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game. In his three starts, Kinsey averaged 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 1.0 steal in 25.6 minutes per game. During the 2009 NBA Playoffs, he saw action in nine games and averaged 0.4 points in 1.2 minutes per game.

As a member of the Cavaliers 2009 NBA Summer League team playing in Las Vegas, Kinsey played in five games (all starts) averaging 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 24.2 minutes per game.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed Sam Young to a multi-year contract, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today.

Selected by the Grizzlies with the 36th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Young averaged a team-high 13.6 points and 4.2 rebounds on 51.9 percent shooting in 25.0 minutes in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, helping lead Memphis to a perfect 5-0 record.

The 6-6, 220-pound guard/forward led the University of Pittsburgh in scoring (19.2 points) in his senior season, setting a school single-season record with 690 points and leaving as the Panthers’ fourth all-time leading scorer (1,884 points).

Young, a 2009 Associated Press Third Team All-American and All-Big East First Team selection, never missed a single game in his four-year college career, playing in a school-record 143 consecutive games.  The 24-year-old Clinton, Md. native was one of three Panther seniors who comprised the all-time winningest class in Pittsburgh history (112 wins).

With the signing of Hasheem Thabeet (second overall) and DeMarre Carroll (27th overall) earlier in the month, the Grizzlies have now signed all three of the team’s selections in the 2009 NBA Draft.

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